|Name:||Syeda Tuhin Ara Karim, A S M Kamrul Islam & associates|
| From the Architect |
What do we seek in a forest? What do we look for in a site situated in the middle of the forest? Who will be the visitors? Interests? What do they hunt for?
To commence the brain storming for this project, several ‘CONCERN’ were taken into account instead of a single ‘CONCEPT’ merely based on hypothesis.
Concerning the location in the midst of Bhawal National Forest consist of Shal trees and the presence of buildings/ structures on the site obligated us not to propose any groundless vertical elements which might hamper the ambiance of the forest except proposed local trees or six low height sculptures or street light posts. Keeping this fact in mind, not a single tree had been cut during construction.
From the beginning of the brain storming ‘use of material’ was the key concern for design team. In the case of material selection, the use of polished marble, plastered wall, shiny materials were avoided deliberately to retain the essence of the existing natural setting and exposed brick and concrete were used instead.
The position of the buildings/ structures are situated in a scattered manner that divide the entire site into unconnected chunk of spaces. Proposed new road network along with the bicycle route and walkways helped to connect the isolated spaces and gave them identity as Individual Island for sole performance. Each Island was named based on the theme of that certain space and its functions:
আঙিনা / Courtyard
After crossing the main gate, there is a plinth over a semi-basement parking located on the southeast corner of the site accessible from a plaza at west and a staircase with ramp from the north. As the training centre welcomes different age groups from remote area to corporate officials, we thought this plinth could be used as gathering space, therefore named, Anggina or Courtyard. Provisions for large scaled Chess and Ludo provided along with seating and sports spaces like a mini football ground.
প্রজাপতিবাগান/ Butterfly garden
Next to Anggina, there is the butterfly garden with a gentle play of land undulation. When we first came to visit the site, we saw various butterflies wondering in that certain territory. We decided to intensify the provision even more and set up a garden and a butterfly nest.
Solar bricks are used to lit the garden pathway at night and to enhance the visual comfort and set the environment pleasant and relaxing for the visitors who will be staying overnight in the hostels after long day training.
Potibimbo is a large pond located opposite to the plaza of Anggina. Apart from the fishing decks we have provided two more ghats/ platforms on east and west side. The Ghat situated in the east is named as সূর্যাস্তেরঘাট/ platform of sunset where visitors can sit, relax, enjoy the sunset while merging their legs into water. A regular ghat on west is called সূর্যোদয়েরঘাট/ platform for experiencing sunrise.
Advancing more to the North West corner of the site, behind the gymnasium and water tank, anopen fieldwere shaped and kept as it is purposely wherein multiple functions can be hold when needed i.e. fair, open to sky ceremonies, play field etc.
In the west of the field, utilizing the number of existing 20 Mehogani trees, a Toruddan or a grove/miniscale forest was proposed with new indigenous trees[flowering trees, fruit trees, forest trees, medicinal plants along with various shrubs] in order to set a place as a good learning space for next generation where they can embrace nature.
Employing two Mehogoni trees, a two layered গাছবারান্দা/ tree terrace acting as a watch tower where visitors can experience the open field at one side and a children’s play zone opposite to that. The play zone offers regular playing instruments,considers physically and mentally challenged children as well. The place is intentionally kept slightlyundulating for children to experience the different elevation of nature. A mage made of different types of shrubs with a spiral staircase is located there to make the place more interesting and mystical for children.
A sculpture garden named Prerona was proposed on the north eastern side of the site near another pond with the concept of representing the philosophy of BRAC as an institute. Later, six sculptures are distributed in different location of the site.
Showing respect to the site and nature, not a single tree was taken down during construction. The roof of the waiting area at the left side of main entrance gate was edited and excised to save the mature trees. Thuja trees which were located both side along the entry road, blocking the vista of the site not being cut but replanted in another suitable places. Above all, most of the proposed trees in the site were native.
Though legal legislation is not being implemented by Government, it was hard to find Landscape standard for Bangladesh. Obviously there is a lack of research material. We tried to find some rare species to plant in Toruddan, but failed. Choices of plants to collect or purchase from nurseries or even from Boldha garden and Botanical garden are really limited. Now a days landscape Architecture is a flourishing discipline in Bangladesh, we need to have a common platform to share information and a forum to set standards. The perception and patience of the client regarding landscape projects and its related time period to achieve the real scenario is also an issue.
Landscape Architect: Syeda Tuhin Ara Karim
Architect: A S M Kamrul Islam Shatil
Junior Architects: Amit Kumar Bhowmik, Masum Un Nabi,
Sculpture: Md. Mizanur Rahman & SyedaTuhinAra Karim
Structure: Shafiur Rahman, BRAC Construction
Site Engineer: Anisur Rahman
Photograph by : Md. Kamrul Hasan & Md. Noufel Sharif Sojol
Narration by: Azizul Mohith / CONTEXT and Syeda Tuhin Ara Karim
| Image Gallery |